Last Saturday morning, I was up extra early to make sure I was on time for the St. Jude Walk/Run here in Dallas. To be honest, I was tired and jet lagged and I really wanted to snooze my alarm a few more times, but I knew HAD to be there. It was important to me to SHOW UP and WALK.
My husband & I have always donated to St.Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Every year we would watch the St. Jude Thanks & Giving programs and I would cry my eyes out while watching the stories of kids who were battling childhood cancer.
Last week I had the opportunity to spend 3 days in Memphis visiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for the St. Jude Blog Tour. During the tour, myself and 10 other bloggers (now official St. Jude Blogger Ambassadors) from around the country got to experience first hand, the amazing work that is being done at the hospital. Although I have seen stories of St. Jude families on TV, nothing could really prepare me for the experience I was about to have.
The first thing that stood out to me is the fact that St. Jude is not a sad place. Despite the serious, living saving work that happens there, it is a place filled with HOPE. Even if you only spend 5 minutes at St. Jude, you can’t help but be inspired by all the resilience and bravery that permeates the air and fill the walls around you.
After our initial briefing with the St. Jude/ALSAC staff (ALSAC is the fundraising body for the hospital) we had lunch at the Kay Kafe. One of the special things about St. Jude is that it only has one cafeteria, where doctors, kids and their families, visitors and staff all eat.
The founder of St. Jude, Danny Thomas wanted the cafeteria to resemble a family table, a place where the entire family could gather to eat. The Kay Kafe is staffed by chefs and serves a variety of food offerings to cater to each patient’s needs and cravings. The fresh vegetables used in Kay Kafe comes from St. Jude’s own garden.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats pediatric cancer and other life threatening diseases. The hospital is staffed by the world’s best doctors, researchers and scientists who are committed to ensuring that “no child dies in the dawn of life”. The flags of all the countries represented at St. Jude are all displayed in the Danny Thomas Atrium.
One of the most amazing and unique things about St. Jude is that families NEVER receive a bill for treatment, food, travel or housing while St. Jude. The staff at St. Jude wants to make sure that all any family has to worry about is helping their child live.
I know you’re probably thinking, “how is this possible” ? Well 75% of the the budgeted costs are covered by donations from public contributions. St. Jude also has some amazing corporate sponsors who support their work.
Mind boggling FACT: It costs $2 Million dollars a day to run St. Jude.
We got to visit the Target House where families from all over the world, with long term treatment plans live FREE of cost. One of the things I love about St. Jude is that they cater to the entire family. Celebrities such as Brad Paisley have rooms in the house that they personally decorated to ensure that the families are comfortable while there.
The work of St. Jude has taken the survival rate of childhood cancer from 20% to 80% in just 50 years! It was such a blessing to get to see the results of the life saving work, first hand. Our tour guides for first day, were two former patients (now employees) of St. Jude, Joel & Tayda who shared their amazing stories with us.
Each patient at St. Jude is assigned a number and Joel was patient 10,529. St. Jude has now treated over 45,000 kids.
If there is one thing I would like you to takeaway from this post is the importance of helping to raise awareness for childhood cancer and the work of St. Jude.
Walk/ Run – The St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer is taking place in 58 cities around the country. Go HERE to find an event in your city.
DONATE – In addition to being a St. Jude Blogger Ambassador, I have also signed up to be a St. Jude Hero. This means that I have committed to raising funds to support the life saving work of St. Jude all throughout the year.
CLICK HERE to donate here to help me reach my goal.
Throughout the year, I’ll be sharing more about St. Jude and ways you can join the fight against childhood cancer.
With my blogger friend Nicole from The Natural Cole
After visiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and seeing the incredibly amazing work that is being done there everyday, and the bravery of the children and their families, I know I could not just sit by and do nothing. I was inspired to do more, to get up early to walk, to support…to JOIN THE FIGHT! I ask you too join the little warriors of St.Jude in their big fight!